“Negative conflict, manifested as workplace drama, costs the US economy more than $350 billion per year in the currency of broken relationships, dysfunctional teams, morale and engagement problems, and failure to thrive”
Not many people truly enjoy conflict. Conflict seems to bring out the worst in people and so many of us don’t know how to react to it or realize that it can be used as a catalyst for change. Growing up, I never liked conflict and tended to morph into the background whenever it reared its ugly head. As I jumped into the real world I ran smack into conflict coming at me from many directions. It was a changing life lesson and I had no choice but to swim with the sharks. Ultimately, I grew to embrace conflict to as a means to unite people and work on problems. Surprisingly, this little conflict avoidance girl was a dynamo at actually stepping in to resolve conflict with a clear head and open heart.
When I had a chance to read the new book coming out soon Conflict without Casualties A Field Guide for Leadership with Compassionate Accountability by Nate Regier Ph.D. I rejoiced. Conflict doesn’t need to be a dirty word and we should snap to attention when it rears up because it means that people may be passionate about something and willing to stand up for what they believe. Nate shows us how conflict should be viewed as a creative force because there is often so much energy behind it. Nate asserts how conflict can be turned around and utilized to grow innovation, build trust, and further engage people. His views will help you change your perspective on conflict, people, and how it can be used to make us more accountable.
Conflict without Casualties is an effective tool kit for managing conflict. Nate introduces us to the nuances of drama through the “drama triangle” resulting from conflict and the roles people take on in the process. People may play the victim, rescuer, or persecutor, none of which are healthy. Drama is expensive in monetary and emotional terms. We have all been caught up at one time or another in drama games and they can bring down people and organizations.
Drama and conflict can be negated through a compassion process which Nate introduces as the “compassion circle”. We turn conflict on its head by being open/vulnerable, resourceful/generate options, and persistence to bring about change. The cycle enables us to balance compassion and accountability while turning conflict into a growth experience of change for teams. Compassionate leaders should focus on this model when working through conflict by starting by asking if there is true openness and making an assessment. If so, move on to making movement on ideas and moving forward. Only then can leaders encourage others to remain persistent in making change or progress.
Compassion without Casualties leads us through the critical process of getting beyond what I call all of the “junk” in the workplace or even in your own home. Nate encourages us to look at conflict in a new way and to actually embrace it because it can be turned into a positive. He never states that it will be an easy path but in the end it brings us results and growth. You will learn that “Compassion balances caring, concern, empathy and transparency with boundaries, goals, aspirations, and standards. It’s the engine that turns conflict into a creative force”.
So how can you use Conflict without Casualties in your own world to grow? Following are some insights to encourage you to embrace conflict, not run!
- Personal stories and real- life examples of conflict situations and the impact
- Case studies that can be shared with teams
- Provocative questions to think through to really see the benefit of opening up to conflict
- Relevant effective strategies for avoiding drama and becoming a compassionate leader
- Personal reflection and personal development questions
- A DRE assessment – Drama Resilience Assessment which is an online assessment
We have so much conflict swirling around us every day and it really is unavoidable unless you live a cave. Don’t run from it. Open your arms and heart to using conflict to solve problems, develop people, and bring more compassion to the negativity in the world. Conflict without Casualties should be your go to bible for turning conflict upside down and bringing back compassion to the process.